The first month at school

Gosh, it’s nearly half term already! Where did that go? (After 16 years away from the whole term/holiday thing, the dates are already engraved on my memory). So, how are all our babies settling in at Big School, then?

After all my worries about the school and about DD, I am very happy to report that she’s settled in beautifully. We’ve had a few tears at the Point Of Entry To The Classroom over the past few weeks, admittedly, but I am assured they are gone by the time she’s hanging her coat on her peg. And she comes out grinning her head off, plaits all over the place, and a book bag full of works of art and reading books.

The first morning was fine. She was only in for two and a

First day at school

half hours for the first week, after all. But then after dropping her off on her first full day, I burst into tears because it all felt very real, and very different, and she is so small. Luckily I have made a good friend among the mums and she was around to give me a hug, for which I was very grateful.

DD loves: the uniform, the routine, the freedom to make and draw and stick whenever she wants, scooting to school and collecting conkers on the way, seeing her new, older friends from the village at playtime.

I love: being a school mum. This is exactly how I imagined motherhood before I had children. It feels more natural to me having my little girl at school than having a baby, a toddler or a pre-schooler. I can’t put my finger on it, just that I suddenly feel for the first time that I’m ‘good enough’ at this job. And our relationship has improved immensely. We talk lots. We spend quality time together on the way to school after we’ve dropped DS at nursery and after school on his two full days. We are at ease with each other in a way we haven’t been before.

She already seems older and more independent, although she’s more phyically affectionate than she every has been before, so I know she needs me, a lot, as she adjusts to this completely new life. And she’s tired, as everyone said she would be: she’s the youngest in the class and after two weeks of half days, full days were a bit of a shock. But then, the kiddies cherish the weekends as much as we do now, including DS. His extra morning at nursery means we have four days on the trot where we all need to be out of the house by 8am, and we’ll all enjoy chilling out at half term.

I like being part of the school, and I have joined the PTA. I’m doing all the things I’m meant to do, like sending the endless forms in on time and doing loads of baking to contribute to various fairs. I am committed to doing everything I can to help the school so it can educate my daughter and help me raise her to face the adult world and its challenges. I like DD’s teachers, and love that her teacher and teaching assistant clearly adore her. I love that the very warm head teacher knows her name and has nothing but praise for her.

Juggling the nursery runs across town, the school run and work is proving to be hard, especially when I’m on lots of client deadlines. But it’s only for two years and then DS will be at the same school too, and things will start to get easier. And cheaper: my goodness, we’re noticing only having one set of nursery fees!

So we survived the first day, and the first week, and the first month of school. And now DD is a ‘skoogirl’, as DS says, and I am a school mum, and it feels utterly right.

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